Along Came Jones (1945)

Genres - Comedy, Western  |   Sub-Genres - Comedy Western, Parody/Spoof  |   Release Date - Jun 20, 1945 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Along Came Jones is a really nice little flick. That may sound like faint praise, but it's not intended that way, for Jones is a really pleasant way to pass an hour and a half or so. Its charms are gentle, but nonetheless very real. Count star Gary Cooper as chief among those charms. Cooper seems to be having a great time kidding his usual "strong, silent" type Western hero, and he clearly enjoys the opportunity to play comedy. His ingratiating personality and quiet charisma are put to great use here, and it's an easy, effortless performance that puts a smile on viewers' faces. William Demarest is perfect as his foil, the crusty sidekick with hidden soft spots, and Loretta Young is a wonderful help as the girl friend who ends up saving Cooper's bacon. And as the villain of the piece, Dan Duryea employs his nasty snarl and menacing sneer to excellent effect. Nunnally Johnson's screenplay has plenty of good gags and finds humor in some unexpected places; if it's a bit sloppy in places and in need of a little pruning, those are minor quibbles. Stuart Heisler directs capably; his work could use a bit more imagination, but he handles things well enough and helps to shape some of the messier aspects of the screenplay.